Monday, 26 April 2010

I started the day with Chris Halsall and her colleagues at our Primary School Improvement Partners Professional Development Day at Weetwood Hall...

It was great to be able to talk to these colleagues about the opportunities and the challenges we face with building outstanding Children's Services here in Leeds. We need to powerfully connect the team around the family, the team around the child and the team around the school to ensure that every child in Leeds is happy, healthy, safe and successful... whatever it takes!

We need to focus our energy and efforts on the things that really make a difference and eradicate the irrelevant, the obsolete an dthe things that simply get in the way. We need to think local, think city and think about how we streamline the processes to create beautiful systems around 21st Century Schools. Beautiful systems that reinforce and support a culture based on trust, respect, equality, inclusion and excellence.

These wonderful colleagues are helping us share, network, learn and consistently build brilliant learning in brilliant learning places. Every school must be a great school so that wherever a child goes to school in Leeds they experience the best teaching and learning alongside the WOW factor. We all need to recognise and celebrate the wonderful work going on in schools across the city and simply make it consistent. Together, we can release the potential and magic in all our children, all our colleagues and all our communities.

1 comment:

Peter Harris said...

I agree with everything you have said in this posting about respect, trust, the WOW factor, happiness... but the current SATS regime and the tyrannical use of SATS data by OFSTED mitigate against this and are a major impediment to creating 'beautiful systems' and 'brilliant places'. Year 6 classrooms are often not beautiful or brilliant - rather they are little 'level 4 factories'. The new OFSTED regime makes inner city schools even less attractive to potential head teachers and causes huge stress to school staff.

Your blog consistently appeals to us to do 'whatever it takes', show strong committed leadership, stand up for what we believe in and identify what it is that is stopping us creating the schools that we dream of. And yet... when heads finally stand up to the government/OFSTED by proposing to boycott SATS you send a letter to governors suggesting that they should consider disciplining them. Over my past six years, I have often felt inspired by your leadership, but now I feel let down and betrayed. I could certainly understand if Ed Leeds felt the need to tow a general government line, but the position you have taken seems, to me, to be a puzzling misjudgement that has greatly damaged your reputation amongst head teachers. Why did you need to get involved in such a provocative manner?

If you are always going to tow the government line, and seek to suppress dissent, perhaps you should cease your use of inspirational quotes such as that currently on your blog that exhorts us to have a "clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for."

Peter Harris